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Traffic Camera Case Focusing On Power Limits

While debate over traffic cameras usually centers on whether they are aimed at increasing safety or at increasing revenues, arguments before the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday will focus on whether cities are overstepping their powers. The justices will hear an appeal by Toledo and its camera vendor of a lower court's ruling for a motorist who sued over a 2009 camera-generated ticket. His lawsuit charged that the city's administrative handling of tickets unconstitutionally bypasses the court system and violates his due-process rights. Toledo contends that the camera systems are allowed under its self-governing "home rule" powers in the Ohio Constitution, and that motorists still have the ability to appeal administrative decisions to the courts. It's among a number of legal and legislative challenges to cameras in Ohio and nationally.